A Tough Fight Against Media Bias

We wrote in our prior post that Seattle Times was avoiding to report on repeal of I-200. After some back and forth emails, we finally got Northwest Asian Weekly to write an article on repeal of I-200. When I learned that the article was finally published, I rushed to grab a copy this afternoon. Quite honestly, I did not expect a balanced report. However, any publicity is good publicity. Readers can always judge by themselves.

Sure enough, the article left out our data that contradict to those who support repeal of I-200 claimed. In our post that Repeal of I-200 Will Hurt Asian Americans in College Education , we listed data directly from UW’s website that one year after the passage of I-200, Asian American students enrollment went up 6%. We also provided data from National Center for Education Statistics that showed postsecondary enrollment closely mirrored racial demographic of general population.  The article left out our data, but quoted a 2006 study co-authored by UW professor Hirschman, and  funded by Andrew Mellon Foundation. Given UW’s long interest in repeal of I-200, and Andrew Mellon Foundation’s many grants to Affirmative Action projects, you’d question the objectivity of the study.

Still, I want to thank Northwest Asian Weekly for at least included our opposition voice, and also cited some of our data such as the ones from Princeton University’s study.

It took almost 3 weeks since I first contact NW Asian Weekly on February 26th and asked them to write an article on SB 6406 till the article finally appeared on the newspaper. Realized that they might publish an article without our voice in it, I sent Ms. Ruth two emails last weekend and urged her to include our voices in the article. Holding this article in my hands, although a bit biased, we trust readers’ judgement.


Update #1: I emailed Ruth regarding the missing data points, and got a polite email from her the next day. She invited us to write a comment and they “would be happy to print it”.

Update #2: Northwest Asian Weekly published our commentary this week.  Below is our commentary sent to Ruth.

“Proponents of repeal of I-200 tried to use the 2006 study to justify their cause. We’d like to add data that were left out in the original article to show that I-200 indeed benefits Asian American community.

According to UW’s own website, one year after the passage of I-200, “Asian American students planning to enroll (in the Fall 1999 freshman class) increased six percent (from 1,109 to 1,176)”. That was despite a slight dip in Asian American application rate in 1999, according to the same 2006 study. In other words, prior to the passage of I-200, UW’s racial quota policy in admission prevented Asian American students from being accepted.

The most recent data from National Center for Education Statistics showed that in 2014, among total postsecondary student population in Washington, 8.96% was Asian, 0.61% was Pacific Islander. During that time, 9.53% of the state’s general population was Asian, 0.66% was Pacific Islander, with other ethnic groups making up the remainder. Proponents’ claim that I-200 hurts AAPI in higher education is groundless. 

Senator Hasegawa called us, who oppose repeal of I-200, “privileged”. On the contrary, we all worked hard to achieve what we have achieved. We believe in education, we believe in merit-based systems that reward hard work. Education empowers our kids to get ahead. We want to fight for the equal education right for all AAPI students. NO repeal of I-200, no racial quota. In our opinion, the law should be reinforced, not repealed.”




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